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Hitchin Town 0 Leamington 0

Saturday, January 14 2012

It may have been goalless but this game was far from dull, ranking among the best 90 minutes’ of football seen at Top Field this season.

Highlights

2- Burke fails to turn the ball home from close range
72- Lewis is denied at the near post by Vaughan
76- Lewis cross to the far post, Donnelly header saved
77- Corbett misses an open goal for Leamington
83- Effiong shot parried by Vaughan

Weather: Cold, crisp and bright

Pitch: Hard

Attendance: 444

 The Canaries’ resurgence continued with this entertaining and lively game against one of the Premier Division’s better sides.

It was fairly even stuff, but if anyone deserved to win it was Hitchin, and but for Leamington keeper Nathan Vaughan, Carl Williams’s side would have ended the day with three points. But coupled with a win at Redditch seven days earlier, four points from two games is a perfectly acceptable haul.

Hitchin could have opened the scoring after just two minutes when Zak Burke tried desperately to turn the ball home from close range.

Leamington had a series of early half chances, notably when leading scorer Jacob Blyth blasted over from 15 yards.

Hitchin ended the half in the ascendancy, however, and if Callum Donnelly’s bouncing bomb of a shot had been an inch or two to the right, they would have gone in at half-time ahead.

The second half was more entertaining and John Frendo – who had a quiet afternoon – was denied earlier on by Asa Charlton’s block. Inih Effiong, whose unselfish running proved awkward for the visitors, was presented with a golden chance when Tony Fontenelle’s cross found him, but the tall frontman shot wide.

Second later, Leamington broke and Craig Owen saw a long range shot superbly saved by Martin Bennett.

But Hitchin finished the stronger of the two sides. Ieuan Lewis, who added some energy when he came on as substitute, ran to the byline and saw his shot saved by Vaughan at the near post.

Lews was involved shortly afterwards when he crossed into the heart of the Leamington defence and Donnelly’s header was smothered by Vaughan. Leamington had their best chance within a minute when Luke Corbett headed over from six yards.

Hitchin had the opportunity to snatch victory when Effiong’s long range shot was parried by Vaughan but Donnelly was unable to connect with the rebound. A fair result, but Williams and Co. would not have minded an unfair victory!

The teams


Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper (Leach 84), Stewart, Gilbert, Lee (Edgerley 82), Burke, Donnelly, Effiong, Frendo, Anderson (Lewis 57) Subs not used: King and Pedrycz



Leamington: Vaughan, Mace, Morley, Downes, Daley, Charlton, Tuohy (Husband 75), Adkins (Kolodzynski h/t), Owen, Blyth (Corbett 64), Batchelor
  Subs not used: Robbins, Byrne



Referee: D.Saliy

Assistants: O.Spillett & S.Smith

Photo: Martyn Annetts



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